Verizon took to the stage this morning at the Las Vegas Hilton this morning to discuss their success of the past year, and what is to come in 2011. The rumors of the seemingly inevitable addition of the iPhone to the company’s line-up hung thick in the air to be sure. Through out the pre-show you could hear the handset’s name being mumbled through out the entire gathered audience. While Verizon was sure to have some interesting things to say, it was clear that it was the primary reason that everyone had gotten up this morning for this early morning session.
Where we disappointed? Had we gotten up after a long day press day on Wednesday to just once again have our hopes dashed on the rocky shores of cellular disappointment?
I’ll put you out of your misery … no, they still didn’t announce it.
Ivan Seidenberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon was the first to hit the stage and he wanted to talk about what the company had done thus far.
Ten years ago one in every three people had a cell phone, but now that number is closer to nine in ten. Video was just ten percent of Internet traffic a few years ago, but has now grown to over half and looks set to hit 90 percent in just a few years. In short, we are consuming more and more technology.
To answer where things were going, Mr. Seidenberg called Lowell McAdam, President and COO of Verizon, to the stage to discuss the future of tech. In 2004 Verizon started building its 3G netwrok and was followed up in 2007 by the announcement of 4G LTE. The service was launched a few months ago in 38 cities and will double within the next 18 months with a planned follow-up to blanket the entire nation within three years.
Verizon feels that its Fiber to the Home (FTTH) product, FiOS, is really the future. Currently the service already serves 15.4 million homes, but will increase that to 18 million with the next year. While the current top speed is 150 Mbps, Verizon technicians have successfully tested 1 Gbps speeds using the current FiOS architecture, which makes one wonder what the potential limits are for fiber. Verizon does currently use Gigabit speeds for its backbone, but they do envision a day where they offer those speeds to the home and the backbone gets increased to Terrabytes.
There were a few teasers interspersed amongst the talk such as talking about the new Droid Bionic from Motorola, a brief mention of the XOOM, followed by a detailed demo of Android Honeycomb.
Overall the talk was a bit too rah rah shiskboombah without tons of substance, but it was still interesting to see where the company thinks thins are going, and we aren’t ones to argue with their vision.
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